PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Najib Razak has sarcastically congratulated Anwar Ibrahim for finally succeeding, after 22 years of struggle, at getting back to his old position of deputy prime minister.
In turn, he accused Anwar’s former nemesis Dr Mahathir Mohamad of plotting to ensure that his son Mukhriz would eventually become prime minister.
Anwar was dismissed as deputy prime minister by Mahathir in 1998 and expelled from Umno, where he was deputy president, in a party power struggle. His expulsion led to the Reformasi movement to bring down the Barisan Nasional government, which culminated in the 2018 general election victory by Pakatan Harapan.
Najib’s sarcastic comment was made in response to an announcement by Mahathir on the proposed leadership of a new Pakatan Harapan government.
Mahathir said several opposition leaders had agreed to propose Anwar and Mukhriz as candidates to be deputy prime ministers, with Warisan president Shafie Apdal as candidate to be prime minister.
Najib said: “PH Minus (without PKR) unanimously backed Shafie Apdal to be PM, Anwar as DPM1 and Mukhriz as DPM2.
“Didn’t I tell you so?
“Any route taken by Mahathir will end with Mukhriz becoming deputy prime minister and finally as PM.”
He said Mahathir had been angry with him since the Umno elections at the end of 2013 because he did not support Mukhriz’s campaign to be elected as an Umno vice-president. Najib said his reason for not doing so was because Mukhriz had then recently become menteri besar of Kedah.
“In any case, congratulations are also due to Anwar, after 22 years of street protests since 1998, he succeeded in capturing his original position as DPM.”
In a swipe at Anwar’s choice of political allies, he also said “Who asked you to trust DAP and their minions in Amanah? Weren’t you betrayed by them? Can you still trust DAP? Ask PAS”, making a reference to the dissolution of Pakatan Rakyat after a falling out between DAP and PAS in 2017.
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